You dental fanatic, you. When it comes to taking care of your teeth, you rock! You floss once a day (sometimes more), and brush twice a day. You happily go to see your dentist at least twice a year—and in turn they are quite excited to see you, their favorite patient.
But did you know that there are some foods you can eat that can make your teeth even healthier? And, you probably already have most of them in your pantry or refrigerator:
- Gum—as long as it’s sugar free. (You don’t want to be chewing on sugar all day, after all.) Sugar-free gum not only gets rid of any food that might be stuck to your teeth (thanks to it’s naturally sticky nature), but it also makes your mouth produce more saliva, which helps to keep teeth clean.
- Cheese, yogurt, and milk. Besides having calcium and phosphorous, which are well-known for being good for teeth and bones, cheese, yogurt, and milk also have something called “casein,” which helps keep the surface of teeth strong. Cheese also has the added benefit that it is low in sugar.
- Crunchy fruits and veggies that are high in fiber. For instance, celery. Not only is celery crunchy, which stimulates saliva (which is a natural way to clean teeth), but those little strands that come off of the celery also help to scrub teeth even more. Apples are a great fruit for dental care—they are beneficial to teeth for many reasons. Tart apples make your mouth salivate, which rinses bacteria away from your teeth. Apples also have lots of water, which neutralizes the sugar in apples (meaning that it is a sweet food you can enjoy guilt free). Apples also make for healthy gums—the vitamin C helps to regenerate collagen, which makes up gum tissue. Other good fruits and veggies for healthy teeth include pears, carrots, and bell peppers. Just make sure you stay away from dried fruits, which have highly concentrated amounts of sugar, and tend to be a bit sticky.
- Eggs, chicken, and beef. This one may surprise you, but all of these have lots of protein, which helps to build cells, which in turn keeps your blood flow healthy—even to your gums and your teeth’s nerve endings, which makes for a healthy mouth.
- Dark chocolate. (Hurray!) Enjoy your daily dose of chocolate knowing that it contains chemicals that help to fight plaque—but make sure you eat a chocolaty treat that is at least 80 percent cocoa, or the harmfulness of the sugars outweigh the benefits of the cocoa.
- This is one that might surprise you as well—sesame. Sesame seeds are good for getting rid of plaque and keeping tooth enamel healthy. Sesame oil has been shown to reduce plaque and bacteria in the mouth, and is just as effective as some mouthwash when it comes to keeping mouths healthy.
- If you are grabbing bottled water all day you may be missing out on a chance to take care of your teeth. Tap water that has fluoride added to it is great for your teeth—it helps to put back any minerals that that your teeth have lost, which helps to protect the enamel. Milk (of course) is also a great choice when you’re looking for something to drink, and so are green and black teas.
You know you want to do everything you can to take care of those gorgeous teeth of yours. So the next time you’re craving a snack, try one of these foods—your dentist will thank you, and your smile will grow more gorgeous with every bite.